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Ryan Johnson, Published September 13 2013

Fargo-based documentary TV series moves forward

FARGO – A new documentary-style TV series set here is moving closer to reality, and a camera crew is in town to shoot a pilot episode next week.

News of the potential show, tentatively titled “Good Morning Fargo,” broke this summer when an official for Burbank, Calif.-based Morning Star Entertainment said there would be a casting call to find the most colorful people in Fargo for a new reality show.

But the concept has shifted in the months since, and the production company has now teamed up with WDAY-TV for the series.

News Director Jeff Nelson said the production crew met with the WDAY staff this week, and they’ll film footage Monday and Tuesday that eventually will be edited into a pilot episode.

He said there are some hints about what Morning Star Entertainment plans to focus on in this series, though many details still are up in the air – including which network might be interested in getting the show out to a national audience, and whether it will actually be green-lighted.

“It’s going to focus on the people that we have at WDAY,” Nelson said. “We win the news ratings at 5, 6 and 10 and on the weekends, but the one place we need to get better is First News. So, they would document what we’re doing to increase those ratings and see how things operate over there.”

Nelson said it’s been an “interesting” process so far. The staff at WDAY has spent plenty of time on camera, but he said it will be a new experience to be the center of attention while they work on the station’s morning show that airs at 5 a.m. weekdays.

“We’re used to being the ones that are asking the questions and following people around,” he said. “It’s a lot different when the camera’s pointing back at you.”

Nelson said he gave the WDAY staff simple advice: “Be yourself,” and keep doing the job they’ve done for years.

Christian Robinson, vice president of development for Morning Star Entertainment, said the company plans to film in the winter if the series goes into production.

The company has produced shows such as “Deadliest Warrior” and “Manhunters – Fugitive Task Force.”

Nelson said the production company will create a pilot in the coming weeks based on the footage it films at WDAY. Beyond that, details of this series – and if it will be broadcast for a national audience – remains to be seen.

WDAY is owned by Forum Communications Company, which also owns The Forum.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587